Most people might look upon me as a strange breed of working mom who isn’t bitten by the guilt factor while she spends 12 hours without her baby. What sort of a mom is that they may wonder? Aren’t working moms supposed to be constantly ridden by guilt of not spending enough time with their children?
In my case as I have always spoken in my blogs I never feel guilty cos my daughter is looked after by my mom. I know she is in good hands, on days I need to spend longer time at work or that quarterly office party which I cannot be giving excuses to miss each time, I attend it carefree for I know she is peacefully snuggled in bed with my mom by her side. Also another reason is- I realized this mindless guilt will only cause damage to me by eating me up bit by bit. It’s not that I would ever quit my job or take up a less demanding one. I have studied hard to get this far and my ambition is to grow in my career – is it the money that lures me or the position or being in a ultra-chic job profile of working for one of the best companies? Well a bit of all.
I have enjoyed a good lifestyle from the time I stayed earning. I like spending on myself and my dear ones. Be it a luxury Michael Kors handbag or those lovely shoes from Clarks, an impromptu dinner at the New Mex restaurant or a vacation with my Mom in Singapore. Not just these, I am happy that I invested my hard earned money on buying a house. It gives me an immense sense of pride. I like working, enjoy the financial freedom it gives me, the intellectual stimulation and a chance to meet people, learn, experience good and bad things and grow as a person. Tomorrow when my daughter grows up I would want her to feel free in choosing to do what she likes and not be bound by these artificial barriers we as a society have created – Oh you are a woman , family comes first, what about your child, don’t you feel guilty?”
I would not say that I never face an iota of guilt I do at times for I am human but I try to fight it out for I know it serves no good.
I just returned from a business trip to Switzerland. I had taken my mom and daughter along as it was a one month trip. I thought it would be nice for my mom to see such a beautiful place as well and I will have my daughter with me for a month. The trip was wonderful – Switzerland is endowed with natural beauty, the people are very friendly, I loved the sight of snow capped mountains and the serene lake, ate chocolates and ice cream to my heats content. I liked meeting my colleagues in the Zurich office in person, it was a great experience in terms of working in a hub location.
The only thing that stood out as s sore thumb in my otherwise dream vacation was – Angel seemed a bit distant from me. As I was working in a different location I spend longer hours at work left at 8 in the morning and was back only by 7.30 or later. She was asleep when I left for work and by the time I was back though we had a couple of hours before bedtime, I was kind of tired and sleepy most days. I did play with her, talk to her but it was different from how it used to be back home.
At home I go to work late by 1 usually so we get the whole morning together. Both of us are fresh after a good night’s sleep and we spend good time together. Though I come home late on most nights she is awake and keeps looking at the door calling out Mumma sometimes as she seems to know I am on my way back home. But here it was different.
Maybe because of my hectic schedule, because she was in a new place, she drew closer to my mom and aloof from me. At night when we went to bed and I called her to come lay down beside Mumma she wouldn’t come. She uttered less of Mumma Mumma now or was I imagining that? It made me angry, upset, jealous, and sad.
When I thought of it in hindsight I realized it’s a part of my parenting journey. As she grew up went to school had stuff to do, I would often not be around with her to help her. It would be my mom who would be doing this with her. It is obvious that people feel closer to those who they spend maximum time with. As a kid my mother was at home in my growing years and we forged a thick bond of not just mother daughter but of friends. A good friend of mine who was brought up by her grandparents was closer to them than her she was to her mom.
This does not imply that as a working mother one would never cater to the needs of her child or the relationship will never blossom. That’s definitely not what I believe. A mother child bond is always special and will remain so. Spending quality time with your child, making the most of weekends and days off, being a friend he or she can go to without any in habitation is what makes the difference. But it’s also important to be aware that there may be times when as a working parent one cannot be readily available- I know this will be a major challenge for me as she grows up and I grow in my career as well. Balancing a flourishing career which means more time at work, meetings at erratic timings, possible travel at times and being there for your child to help him in his project work, home work, take him for extracurricular activities – these are conflicting goals and trying to work our way through will always mean a few misses and disappointments- it is a herculean task.
Each parent’s journey is unique – for me I am lucky that I can work and not worry about my child’s well being. I do not feel guilty as well which makes it easier but I do feel those feelings of envy at times and when I look into the near future I feel a bit unsettled at times thinking if she will love me as much as I love her. But I know when she is a young lady ready to take a leap she will look at me and know she can run after her dreams and seize them. Just as my mother stood behind me as a pillar of support I will be there for her. I can already imagine myself as a cool grand mom with the Louis Vuitton handbag who takes her grand kids to the park. 🙂
Author’s note: This post is purely about me as an individual sharing my feelings and journey as a mother. In no way does this imply anything against working mums, as I say this is an individual choice and needs to be respected – Working or SAHM. Also I am not looking for any advice on how to proceed in my journey- I do not have all answers but I am certain I and my daughter will figure them out as we move ahead in our wonderful unique journey. Lastly please refrain from personal attacks – bear in mind this is not a universal statement but an opinion and thoughts of an individual, what holds good for me may not hold good for you. Let’s respect each other’s differences. Thanks for reading and happy to read your comments.